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About General subjects

General subjects are suited to students who are interested in pathways beyond senior secondary schooling that lead to tertiary studies and to pathways for vocational education and training and work. They include Extension subjects.

Results in General subjects contribute to the award of a QCE and may contribute to an ATAR .

Underpinning skills

All General syllabuses are underpinned by:

  • literacy skills — the set of knowledge and skills about language and texts essential for understanding and conveying content
  • numeracy skills — the knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that students need to use mathematics in a wide range of situations, to recognise and understand the role of mathematics in the world, and to develop the dispositions and capacities to use mathematical knowledge and skills purposefully
  • 21st century skills — the set of skills students need for success in life and work in the 21st century: critical thinking; creative thinking; communication; collaboration and teamwork; personal and social skills; ICT skills.

Flexible curriculum delivery

The report, Flexibility in senior secondary schooling: Flexible Curriculum Delivery Working Group findings (PDF, 308.9 KB), discusses the range of strategies used in Queensland and around Australia that provide flexibility for school communities in senior curriculum and assessment systems. These strategies include:

  • variable progression rates
  • combined classes
  • school partnership arrangements.

The new QCE system maintains flexibility for schools in the delivery of senior syllabuses.

Concurrent delivery

All General syllabuses have an associated resource titled ‘Concurrent delivery’. It is accessed by clicking the Resources tab in the Syllabuses application in the QCAA Portal.

The resource offers strategies to support combined classes and explains how to align teaching, learning and assessment across Units 1 and 2 with Units 3 and 4.

Alternative sequences

For 13 General syllabuses, schools may also consider implementing an alternative sequence course of study developed from a General syllabus as an option for managing combined classes of low-candidature subjects.


See the Senior subjects for 2024 section for syllabuses implemented from 2024.

Comparability with General syllabuses

Alternative sequences have the same syllabus objectives and subject matter as the parent syllabus but, where necessary, may reorganise subject matter and assessment requirements to ensure comparable complexity across Units 1 and 2 and Units 3 and 4.

Subject results

An alternative sequence subject result will not differ from its parent General syllabus subject result for both certification and tertiary entrance purposes.

For example, a student who is awarded a 74/100 for the General Modern History syllabus and a student who is awarded a 74/100 in the Alternative Sequence Modern History will both have a 74/100 for Modern History recorded on their statement of results and provided to QTAC.

Access to alternative sequences

Alternative sequences and resources to help schools implement an alternative sequence subject are available to registered schools via the QCAA Portal. School principals seeking access should contact:

More information

See the General syllabuses pages for subject-specific information, including links to syllabuses and teaching, learning and assessment resources.

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